God Shows Up During Crisis
*if you are directly influenced, i am sorry if by reading this you are hearing this information for the first time. please know i am here to speak to, if needed –love, Crystal
God Shows Up During Crisis was the title of Sunday’s sermon. After a change of plans.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Character rises to the top over time and under pressure.
Why this sermon change?
I am not sure how much of this I should be posting on my blog – but this is real life stuff. And I know you will not judge, but instead, pray. As prayer is the most important right now.
This past week, Pastor Dave Cox informed the personnel team of his intention to resign. After meeting with him, the team encouraged him to take an extended leave of absence. In the days that followed, Pastor Dave admitted that he has been in an adulterous relationship with a staff member.
Both have resigned from their staff positions effective immediately. We will get back to you with further information as needed.
And all of this was just announced to our church throughout today. It was made known to all of us on staff yesterday. So, this is fresh friends. Real fresh.
So, how do we respond?
1) WE HURT
We’re each going to hurt in our own ways and in our own time. Whether that is anger, sadness, shock, whatever. And that’s ok. But don’t make decisions based on emotions.
2) WE GUARD
That this will hit the fan and there’s a chance press will be all over it. We will be quick to judge and throw stones but we are all sinners and God still uses us for good purposes.
3) WE RALLY
the mess in the messenger does NOT negate the message. We rally around Dave and his family, this former staff member and her husband and the church. We still love them. Even though their actions disqualify themselves from leadership the work that was done is not in vain. We rally in prayer. We rally toward our vision and mission as a church. Our mission does not change. To reach people for Christ and grow believers to be like Him.
I have NO DOUBT God is all over this. God is not thwarted. He isn’t up in heaven thinking, “oh gee, what am I am going to to with Westside without Pastor Dave?” God’s got this. He’s in the control. WE have just got to trust in HIM and His leadership. We do not follow man.
I do ask that you pray for the following:
1) Pray for Dave, his family and all of the parties involved
2) Our remaining church staff and faithful lay-leaders
3) Our church body (our family of believers)
4) Our mission as a church
How am I?
I am not doing well. I will be ok. But not right now. There is SO much history wrapped up in these two people in my life that I am having a very difficult time. Since age 14, these folks have been influential in my life and in my walk with the Lord. And although I trust in God and not in man… this is the biggest slap in the face of any of the past difficulty. Dave has been like the spiritual leader dad-type that I’ve always desired. He’s always been my inspirational leader. The female employee involved has been my mentor since I can remember. She hired me 3 years ago and has been influential in leading me to greater and greater places on staff. And such dear, dear friends. We’re family.
None of that is in vain but this situation is definitely something I’m looking at almost as an act of utter betrayal. Sin is sin but each sin can come with VERY different consequences and I am feeling, seeing, experiencing the consequences of their sin. And I beleive I have not even gotten to the heart of pain yet. And that makes this even harder. The love I have for these two and their families is bigger than I can fathom. And I seriously don’t know what to do from here. I am just so dang proud of my staff and our church body.
Praying and doing my best to trust.